On October 13 - exactly 5 months after beginning, Michael arrived back to Vancouver having paddled over 5000km across 6 provinces. A FINAL update is to follow but the Hartleys and SHLF would like to extend a hearfelt thank you to all friends and supporters for making this journey both safe and successful!
After returning to Ontario well-fed and rejuvenated (if not slightly culture shocked) following Wyatt's wedding in Vancouver, Michael returned to the Ottawa River and resumed his trip towards Ottawa. He arrived successfully after having to cross 3 hydro dams and camping directly across the river from the Chalk River Nuclear Facility! Following a re-fuel in Ottawa, Michael resumed his journey to Montreal uneventfully and was met on the outskirts of Montreal (Hudson) by cousin Sandra Farrell.
Once in Montreal, with the end in sight, Michael was able to relax and enjoy the company of younger brother Peter who joined him to Quebec City. Peter, an excellent paddler in his time, was rusty after a 40 year hiatus but still considered their imminent arrival a forgone conculsion - they were as good as done! The dynamic duo made the most of each other's company, saw great progress and made several friends along the way. The St Lawrence in Autumn is a remarkable sight. Their journey ended at L'Isle aux Grues, outside of Quebec City where they visited the 'Maison Painchaud' where their ancestors landed 7 generations ago.
As a Grand Prize for his efforts, Michael was greeted in Montreal by 60 cousins and distant cousins at a reception/reunion held at the Quebec Yacht Club. Hosted by the venerable Louis Painchaud (distant cousin and history connoisseur), cousins and distant cousins reunited for a jovial and celebratory weekend.
Michael's return to BC included a 3 day paddle down the Fraser River. This was to complete a section of the journey (Rocky Mountains to Hope, BC) that was started years previously and, importantly, made the Odyssey trip truly 'salt to salt'. Michael was joined on this part of the journey by Jan Madsen, John George, Bob Rieder, Bob Rebagliati and Ben Fast. The group arrived to Jericho Beach on October 13, 2012, marking the official end of the journey. The following day, the Vancouver Committee of SHLF held the 6th Annual Strachan Hartley Legacy Run in North Vancouver, raising $25,000 for the cause.
To date, we have raised $34,000, towards a goal of $50,000. Thank you to all who have donated! We rely on your support and are deeply touched by each and every contribution.
How to Donate:
1) Secure on-line donations: click here. **100% of all on-line donations receive tax receipts.
2) Send a cheque, payable to:
Tides Canada - Strachan Hartley Foundation
468 Arbutus Ave, Duncan, BC, Canada, V9L 5X6
**Donations made by cash or cheque of $50 or more receive tax receipts
As mentioned on the outset of this update, the Hartleys and SHLF are sincerely grateful to all those who have supported this journey. Although it was one man 'alone' in a kayak, many people have contributed to the success of this momentous journey:
Mary Ann Hartley - for holding down the fort in all ways imagineable.
The Paddlers - whose friendship and support is immeasurable and made the journey enjoyable
Louis and the Painchauds - For a finale of note
Friends met along the way - For adding flavour to the journey and reminding us how great this country really is.
Supporters/Donors - Your support makes is all worthwhile and makes a difference in the lives of youth who need it.